German Prosecutor Launches Daimler Diesel Fraud Investigation
In a developing story, the Stuttgart prosecutors’ office has launched an investigation into employees of Daimler, parent company and manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC engines. At issue is the (lately) very common Germanic malady of diesel infidelity.
A report from Bloomberg yesterday cited a source close to the office who claimed the prosecutor opened an investigation into Daimler that day. At the time, a spokesman for Daimler said the company was not aware of any investigation of its employees.
German publication Die Zeit also reported on Wednesday that a Daimler employee testified to authorities in Stuttgart regarding possible manipulation of its diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests. Responding to the article, Daimler stated that its diesel engines had been checked by the German motor authority and transport ministry, with no issues found.
This new investigation is the second over the same issue. The first began in December of 2015, when the prosecutor set out to determine if employees at auto supplier Bosch had participated in the diesel manipulation.
The prosecutors’ office confirmed the new investigation to Reuters on Wednesday — after Die Zeit spilled the beans — stating, “We are investigating known and unknown employees at Daimler.” The office also confirmed the investigation was launched on suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising.
It should be noted that in April 2016, Daimler was part of a voluntary recall of 630,000 Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Opel vehicles. Cars covered by the recall contained a device which turned off emissions controls at specific temperatures in order to protect the engine. German testing of engines with these devices found the controls were not warranted.
Daimler may have a long road ahead of them, if results of previous German diesel investigations are any indicator.
[Image: Daimler AG]
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